Microsoft Vista and Application Compatibility

There's an article entitled "Inside the New Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit" on TechNet that (surprise!) discusses some things about compatibility of applications running on Vista. It provides a good overview of some of the changes that can affect compatibility and some of the progress that has been made with Vista. For example, Windows Resource Protection redirects / sandboxes file and registry accesses to resources that the app wouldn't generally have permissions to when run under a standard account. The changes aren't persisted across invocations of the application, but nonetheless it could enable apps to work under a standard account when they previously were "admin or bust".

The article also discusses how to go about analyzing the applications running on one's computers and assessing the compatibility impact. There is a central database of applications called the "Microsoft Compatibility Exchange" which contains information provided by other community members about the compatibility "levels" of various applications. I like the idea of leveraging community experiences for the benefit of all.

The "Application Compatibility Toolkit" has other capabilities that are touched on in the article and are described in more detail in the documentation that accompanies the toolkit and at the Windows Application Compatibility website.


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